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Yankees fan banned for life after ‘reckless’ Alex Verdugo incident

The Yankee Stadium fan who threw a ball that hit Red Sox left fielder Alex Verdugo on Saturday night has attended his last game in The Bronx — or any other MLB stadium.

The Yankees banned the fan for life from Yankee Stadium and MLB banned him from its 29 other parks, a team spokesman Sunday, following an ejection after the incident that took place in the sixth inning of Saturday’s game.

“While the Yankees appreciate the spirit and passion of our fans in our various rivalries — especially with the Red Sox — reckless, disorderly and dangerous behavior that puts the safety of players, field staff or fellow fans in jeopardy will not be tolerated,” the Yankees said in a statement. “There is absolutely no place for it at Yankee Stadium. The safety of everyone at Yankee Stadium, including guests in the stands and players on the field, will always be the top priority for the Yankees organization every time we open our doors.”

Before the bottom of the sixth inning, Verdugo had thrown a ball into the stands in left field aiming for a Red Sox fan, but it ended up in the hands of a Yankees fan. Amid chants to throw it back, the fan threw the ball on the field and it hit Verdugo in the back.

Red Sox outfielder Alex Verdugo returns to the field following Saturday’s incident.

Verdugo began furiously talking to fans in the left-field seats before being restrained by a teammate and coach, leading Red Sox manager Alex Cora to pull his team off the field.

“It was wrong,” Cora said Sunday. “[Saturday] was one incident. Somebody made a bad decision throwing a baseball. … One thing for sure, when I went out there, it was loud and it got nasty, from both sides. I just needed to calm [Verdugo] down. That was the whole reason I took everybody off the field.”

Cora said Michael Hill, MLB’s senior vice president of on-field operations, was coming to Sunday’s series finale and he planned to talk with him before the game. The manager got into an animated discussion with the umpires after Saturday’s incident, but said he had safety in mind when he called his team off the field.

“That’s what I kept telling [umpires Laz Diaz and Jeff Nelson]: ‘Right now, [Verdugo is] not going to be able to perform. It’s not safe right now. We need to slow it down and let him take a breather,’ ” Cora said. “Not too many people agreed with me [Saturday].”12What do you think of the fan’s punishment? 

Verdugo had been talking back-and-forth with Yankees fans during the Red Sox’s last series in The Bronx, which Cora said he was good with. But Saturday’s incident crossed the line.

“It’s good for the game,” Cora said of Verdugo’s previous interactions with fans. “But obviously [Saturday] it wasn’t great for the game. It wasn’t great for the people here. I know how bad they feel. Hopefully it’s the last time something like that happens.”

Per: NYP

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